Merced-Bike City-10 Years Back-Tour of California
In 2009, Merced was one of the cities for the 2009 world-class Tour of California that came to the city. On February 2009, the Tour, including the hero of those days, Lance Armstrong, raced through Merced. A decade ago, the Tour of California was really among the country’s premier cycling events that drew the best cyclists from all around the world to the 9-day race across California.
In 2009, Merced became “Bike City USA”
In February 2009, Merced became “Bike City USA” when it hosted three world-class cycling events. The cycling trifecta attracted the best riders from around the globe, along with ardent fans and spectators who enjoy the fast-paced sport.
It all started on Wednesday, February 18, when the Tour of California rolled into town. Starring 144 of the globe’s best racers, Merced was the fourth stage of the nine-day event.
Next up was the Snelling Road Race, which took place Saturday, February 21, followed by the Merced Criterium Sunday, February 22.
The month’s racing wound up with the Merco Credit Union Cycling Classic, presented by McLane Pacific, on February 28. The Merco Road Race was held in the northern part of the county on Sunday, March 1.
The teams for the 2009 Amgen Tour of California
The riders and teams that participated in the 4th annual race included the best Tour de France competitors and Olympic and world champions medalists. The entire region benefitted considerably from the event and the complete 2009 Tour of California roster featured the following 17 professional cycling teams:
- Ag2r-La Mondiale (FRA)
- Astana (LUX)
- Bissell Pro Cycling Team (USA)
- BMC Racing Team (USA)
- Cervelo Test Team (SUI)
- Colavita/Sutter Home Presented by Cooking Light (USA)
- Fly V Australia presented by Successful Living Foundation Team (AUS)
- Garmin-Slipstream (USA)
- Jelly Belly Cycling Team (USA)
- Liquigas (ITA)
- OUCH Presented by Maxxis (USA)
- Quick Step (BEL)
- Rabobank (Netherlands)
- Rock Racing (USA)
- Team Saxo Bank (DEN)
- Team Columbia (USA)
- Team Type 1 (USA)
The Amgen Tour of California was one of America’s most successful and best cycling races ever. The famous tour was an expanded 9-day “rolling festival” through the beautiful California landscape and has become one of the country’s most recognized and largest annual sports events. In 2009, the event was expanded, both when it comes to state footprint and duration, The world-class, international cycling race featured elite professional athletes and teams from around the globe that competed for the absolutely highest prize purse around in North America of any professional cycling event.
Expanded to 9 consecutive days, the Tour of California took place from February 14 to February 22, 2009. The race showcased over 800 miles of the most scenic California coastline drives, roadways, and highways. There were sixteen host cities that included Merced, Sacramento, Davis, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Sausalito, San Jose, Modesto, Clovis, Visalia, Paso Robles, Solvang, Pasadena, Santa Clarita, Rancho Bernardo, and Escondido.
But that’s all history though Merced is still seen as one of California’s most prominent Bike Cities. I’m glad I had my physique perfectly acupunctured recently so I can take full advantage of my planned bike rides here in Merced County and my hiking trip to Yosemite.